Since we announced the opening of Carina, we’ve seen both direct queries and indirect speculation about how the Carina acquisition process will work and just what kind of manuscripts we’ll accept. There seems to be some concern that we’ll be accepting and publishing everything that’s thrown at us, so I thought I’d share with you how our acquisitions process will work.
When a submission comes in, we have nine people on the “preliminary” submissions team, who go through the inbox, read submissions and mark which of those should be passed on to editorial staff for a more complete read. (The submissions team consists of editors and online commerce people.) If one of those nine people reads the submission and finds it not to their taste, but believes it might have merit, it’s marked for a second review to determine if it goes to the editorial staff. The best part of having so many people reading submissions at this point is that we all have very diverse reading tastes, so there’s a reader for every genre showing up in our inbox! Books not passing this first stage will receive rejection letters.
Once the book is moved on to the Carina Press editorial staff, they read as much or as little of it as they need to determine one of three outcomes: acceptance, rejection or revisions requested prior to resubmission of the manuscript (revise and resubmit). A book being recommended for acceptance is sent back to the submissions team with an explanation of merit, editorial notes, market appeal, etc and the book, plus the notes, is reviewed either by me or one other on the submissions team. After review, it’s presented at our weekly acquisitions meeting for final approval before moving on to the contract stage.
At this early point in the Carina development, I’ll have my busy hands in every stage of a book’s submissions process, whether it’s acceptance, rejection, or revisions requested, so no book will get a response without two looks by our staff, one of them me, to ensure not just that we’re contracting the best books possible, but also that no hidden treasures get passed up!
I hope the more in depth look at what is, I think, a pretty detailed, multi-layered process, will help answer any questions about what our plans are for Carina as far as quality goes. Plus, I think if any of you know me, or my reputation, I’m pretty fierce about showing just how good digital publishing can be. But maybe I shouldn’t be convincing you. I should be going for the undersell, right?
As a small aside, some of you have been curious about how many submissions we’ve gotten in the week and a half since we’ve opened so I’ll share that info here, now that I’ve finally gotten the spreadsheet done and the info inputted: 300. We’ve had 300 submissions in ten days. Keep them coming!